13 April 2011

manny doubts

i was shocked when i saw that manny had retired due to a failed drug test. 
yes, i am that naive.  i figured he had rededicated himself to his craft and took a huge paycut because he had something to prove in tampa.  i didn't think he would be so stupid as to restart/continue to take banned peds.  my mistake.  now i am rethinking my fandom.

i fully celebrated his second half in 2008, assuming that he was playing with something to prove, not that he was fueled by steroids or some other enhancer.  i grew a bit tired in 2009 with his suspension, but the dodgers still made it to the nlcs and surely there was a reason manny was taking fertility drugs or whatever it was, right?  in 2010 it was obvious that it was time for him to go, and the umpires in colorado thankfully showed him the way.

still, he was the first bonafide superstar to land in la since piazza left courtesy of some entertainment guys playing front office (piazza, of course is another guy who we hear whispers about).  manny brought the dodgers back to prime time on the yankees/red sox network, and he sold a lot of tickets (and wigs) for the mccourts.  so, what now?  what do i do? what do i think?  do i forget about the torre years, which are now intertwined with what i have to assume is manny's being manny illegally?  i think so, even though it wasn't all about manny.  it's as if the 'steroid era' has finally cast its shadow on my dodgers, and i don't like it.  like meryl streep as sister aloysius, i have doubts.

i literally ran into manny once.  it was when he was still a member of the red sox, and they were in town to play the twinkies. in the macy's skyway in downtown minneapolis, i saw a guy who looked a lot like mike lowell (it was mike lowell) and was so distracted i nearly walked right into ramirez.  he was shorter than i expected, maybe 5'10"?  but his shoulders were freakin' wide.  emphasis on freak.  he was waiting for julian tavarez to buy some cologne.  i remember thinking, man, i wish the dodgers had someone like manny in their lineup.  lesson learned - be careful what you wish for, because you just might get it.

adios manny.  you'll excuse me if i prefer to focus on a different set of dodger teams that made it to the nlcs in back-to-back years, and understand why i hold those 1977 and 1978 teams in such high regard.


SpastikMooss said...

I'm still mixed on Manny. I used to pc him for a while and can't forget all the good times in Boston, especially that double play where he caught a ball against the wall, high fived a fan, and then threw to second for the second out.

He made a lot of terrible decisions, and was a clubhouse cancer, at least contractually, at the end of his tenure with basically every club he joined (besides maybe the White Sox). But the guy brought fun to baseball, and that was something I admired a lot.

night owl said...

Remember the good times, forget the bad.

Life is short, and all that.

Manny had loads of issues, that's obvious. But he had his good points too. While it's important to recognize his screw-ups, endlessly bashing him gets irritating.